- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: moist, well-drained, moderately fertile, humus-rich soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: August and September
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Masses of mophead flowers start out deep pink in June, maturing to red with a crescendo of burgundy by the end of the year on neutral or slightly acidic soil. On acid soil, the flowers will open blue or mauve. This upright, deciduous hydrangea is a gorgeous specimen plant for a sunny or partially shady border where the purple-flushed foliage will add colour. It looks particularly good planted with other hydrangeas. The flowerheads are also a popular choice for dried flower arrangements.
- Garden care: Hydrangeas do not like to dry out. In dry weather, soak the roots with a hose and the plant will usually recover. Remove faded flowerheads in spring after the danger of frosts, cutting back the flowered stems to a strong pair of buds. Take out misplaced or diseased shoots. Mulch young plants with a well-rotted manure or compost in spring. Once established, remove a quarter to a third of the shoots to the base of the plant.
Hydrangeas give their best blue flowers on acidic soil of pH 5.5. When grown on neutral soil, with a pH of 7, flowers will predominantly be pink, although blue or mauve blooms can also be produced. To produce blue blooms, make sure your soil is acidic with a pH of at most 6.5. To make a neutral soil acidic you can treat it annually with aluminium salts. However it's much harder to alter the pH of limey soil (alkaline), so it's easier to grow white or pink hydrangeas.
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Q:I have some brambles which are coming under the wall from my neighbours garden, I have cut growth in the past, but they are coming through again would a brushwood killer work or will I have to try to persuade him to let me dig them out from his sideAsked on 22/2/2013 by birdlover from southampton
A:If you are only able to spray a systemic herbicide from your side of the wall it is not going to be enough to kill it. It might be worth speaking to your neighbour to see if they would not mind if you came around to dig it up. Once you have it under control you may need to pop over a few times to finish it off with some systemic herbicide.
Hope this helps.Answered on 27/2/2013 by Steve
Q:Hydrangeas for a front garden
Hi Can you please recommend some replacement Hydrangeas. We have a north facing terrace front garden in London. The bed is around 18 inches deep x around 16 feet in length, with a wall height 1 mt. I loved the 'pom pom' Hydrangeas which we had before as they flowered all summer, and continued as dry heads throughout the autumn, but they were old and had to go with the new wall. I would ideally like the new Hydrangeas to come just over the wall/railings. What can you suggest please? And how many plants for that frontage? My builder says my old hydrangeas were a little too large for the space. Regards NaomiAsked on 17/3/2010 by Naomi Burgess
A:Hello Naomi, The most compact Hydrange we sell is H. Preziosa - just click on the link below to go straight to it. http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/hydrangea-preziosa/classid.3994/ This is quite a compact form and I'm afraid I have to agree with your builder that Hydrangeas are going to be quite squashed in a bed just 18" deep - as are most shrubs. They do flower for months on end though and will tolerate quite a lot of shade so they are great for the spot if you don't mind them spilling over the edge of the bed. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 17/3/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Specimen Ceanothus or another large bushy shrub....
Good afternoon, When I was first looking for a Ceanothus to replace the one we have in our front garden, I looked on your website, but you only had small ones. Our once lovely Ceanothus has been pruned out of all recognition again this year, as I planted it a bit too near our boundary when it was a baby. I know it may come back, but it is getting ridiculous as every time it grows back it has to be cut back again severely and then ooks a mess for most of the year. Have you got a nice, tall, bushy Ceanothus to replace it? I love my Ceanothus but perhaps if you don't have a big one, do you have another large, flowering shrub as an alternative? Hope you can help Regards MargaretAsked on 5/12/2009 by D DRAKETT
A:Hello Margaret, it is rare to find larger sized Ceanothus as they are usually quite short-lived and don't normally live longer than 6 - 8 years. We do have a selection of larger shrubs on our site like Hamamelis, Hydrangeas, Magnolias, Acer, Cornus, Cotinus, Philadelphus, Syringa and Viburnum, so you may find something of interest. They will be listed in this section. http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/ I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 8/12/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Hello there, I have a wonderful Hydrangea 'Tricolor' which has just finished flowering for this year. However it is now getting too big for its space and I would like to move it. I am wondering if this is possible and if so if now is the best time to do this or if it would be better to wait till the spring. Hope you can help as it is a lovely plant and I do not want to lose it but it is definitely beginning to look unhappy in its current place, although the aspect is appropriate. Thanking you in advance for your time with this. LizAsked on 23/10/2009 by ldavidson
A:Hello Liz, The best time to move established shrubs is in the autumn when the soil is still warm but the plant isn't in full active growth - so now is perfect. Begin by marking a circle around the shrub, as wide as the widest branch. Dig a trench along the line of this circle. Use a fork to loosen the soil around the root ball as you go to reduce its
size and weight so that it becomes manageable. When the root ball looks about the right size that you can still move it but there are still a lot of roots intact, begin to under cut the root ball with a sharp spade to sever the biggest woody roots. Roll up the root ball in sacking or plastic to protect the roots from damage and drying out. Move the shrub to a pre determined position. It is important to have the site ready so that you can transplant the shrub at once and it isn't left for hours (or worse!) drying out. Remove the sacking and plant the shrub in the new hole, at the depth at which it was previously planted. Firm well, water well and mulch with a good thick layer of well rotted farmyard manure. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 26/10/2009 by ldavidson
A:Dear Helen Thank you so much for your prompt and helpful reply to my
email about moving my Hydrangea. I will do as you say as I am very
keen for it to survive! Thanks again LizAnswered on 26/10/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Hydrangea not flowering
Hi I have a Hydrangea in my garden. For a few years it was in a pot but for some reason, it only ever seem to flower every other year. The autumn before last, I planted it in the border as it was getting too big to leave in a pot. It didn't flower last year so I was expecting it to bloom this year but it hasn't got a single flower. Around the beginning of the year I noticed the slugs had had a go at it as it was looking poorly. However, I sorted that problem and the foliage is looking really healthy but it still hasn't got a single flower. Any ideas about what could have gone wrong, please? Thanks SylviaAsked on 29/7/2009 by Sylvia Styles
A:Hello Sylvia, There are a number of reasons why plants don't flower, but the most likely cause of your problems are either a late frost killing off the buds, or it could be pruning at the wrong time of the year. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 30/7/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Rabbit proof shrubs
Dear Sirs We are planning to plant a 30mt long border with flowering shrubs and have assorted colours of Rhododendrons in mind. Our main concern is that the shrubs must be rabbit proof as the border is adjacent to woods and a large grassed area. Also, where possible we would like to have 'flowers' on the shrubs throughout the summer. Would you be able to provide a picking list of suitable shrubs? Thank you for your prompt attention AndyAsked on 15/6/2009 by Clark, Andy (buying)
A:Hello there, These are really troublesome pests, and there are no effective deterrents available (apart from getting a guard dog) which will be any help to you. They tend to prefer leaves and soft stems rather than flowers and woody stems, and they seem to prefer feeding in exposed positions and often nibble plants at the edge of borders. This habit can be used to the gardener's advantage by planting more valuable subjects in the centre of beds. In winter, when food is scarce, deciduous plants at the edge of beds will not interest rabbits, and will help protect winter flowers in the centre. Below is a list of flowering shrubs which they usually tend to leave alone. Buddleia davidii, Ceanothus Cistus Cotoneaster dammeri Deutzia Hebe Hypericum Hydrangea Mahonia aquifolium Potentilla fructicosa Rhododendron spp. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 17/6/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Hydrangeas come in many guises, but the blue and pink mopheads and lacecaps that flower in summer are generally forms of Hydrangea macrophylla, an Asian species that prefers lots of summer rainfall and drier winters. This can be tricky in drier gardens, bRead full article